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Beautiful Flower Bouquet

October 24, 2012

A while back I just decided to surprise someone with a bouquet of flowers, and contrary to what most women think, I have proof that men love flowers too! Forget all that macho-ness and strong front they put up for us (women); a bouquet of beautiful flowers works like heat to a candle.... :-), but that's not what my post is about today....

 
So I walked into this flower-shop and for a minute there my nose was confused by the so many fragrances from all the different fresh flowers that were on display. Wow! It kinda gave me a giddy feeling at first, but then when I got used to it I loved the "confusion" in my nostrils. I talked to the shop attendant, told her why I was buying the flowers and who they were meant for. She understood me perfectly and rushed to get me thirty-five long stems of different colors of roses. As she was fixing the bouquet, I got bored watching her and decided to help her. Of course this not being my area of expertise, I just picked the stems haphazardly, and as a result, the first stem I touched pricked my finger; that was my cue to keep quiet and sit pretty like a nice girl waiting for ice-cream as the expert did what she does best.
 
Eventually, the bouquet she placed in my hands was amazing to say the least. She had mixed different colors of roses, comprising of different lengths of stems, some with leaves and thorns, while others only had the rose flower. Some of the flowers were yet to open up completely, while others were fully bloomed.... in short, no single rose flower looked like the next, and even those that were one color were still different in one way or another.  But they all made one big, wonderful, beautiful bouquet.
 
Looking at those flowers as I was walking back to my car, I couldn't help but admire the final display. If I had opted to buy just one rose, it wouldn’t have had that striking effect the entire bouquet had. Each stem had played a role in making the whole bunch look the way it did in my hands. Singly, each stem would have looked quite lost and almost frail; but together as a bunch, each looked so strong and fresh….even those whose leaves had started withering with time.
 
Aren't we like these flowers? We citizens of whichever country we come from? Taking Kenya for example, how many tribes are we? Can you imagine the beauty we would display if we exorcised the tribal demon that keeps plaguing us, and instead we all came together to form one big beautiful Kenyan bouquet? Can you imagine the beauty that would be presented by the different cultures in our beautiful country Kenya? Can you imagine how much we can get done, if we all came together as a KENYAN PEOPLE as opposed to tribal factions?
 
To site an example, just a few weeks ago, Kenyans via twitter (#KOT) and other media decided to take matters into their hands in an effort to have their voices heard. A peaceful demonstration was organized against the MPS for awarding themselves some “hefty retirement perks”, selfishly ignoring the plight of the common mwananchi….. If you missed it, catch the action here. You can also follow the tweets by searching #KOTAgainstMPsBonus.
 
If you have watched the above video, can you help me identify who is a Luo, Luhya, Kalenjin, Kamba, Kikuyu… etc? Of course you can’t unless you know the individuals personally. But I can guarantee you all these tribes were represented here on this 9th day of October, 2012. There was no bloodshed, no looting, no tribalism, or negative energy against each other; all these negatives were set aside in order to achieve one common goal – to let the President know Kenyans had stomached enough. The media also played their role in supporting the demonstration as you must have seen from that report by Edith Kimani. ….. On this day, she was not a kikuyu reporter from KTN, but she was a Kenyan representing the plight of other Kenyans.
 
And yes, the President heard the people's voice.
 
Kenyans peacefully demostrating  
 
Like that bouquet of flowers, it is true we cannot all be equal but we can take advantage of our individual uniqueness to complement each other and make Kenya a better place for ourselves, our children, their children, and all other future generations. When we all come together as a Kenyan People, we present a strong front where our individual weaknesses are camouflaged by the sum total of our strengths. The shortest stem in the bouquet is held together by the many long stems it is put in between… yes, it might be short, but maybe it has the most beautiful flower.
 
As I type out this post, my memory goes back to Genesis 11: 1-9, about the story of the Tower of Babel. In summary, the people had come together and decided to build a tower long enough to reach heaven. When God looked down at them, He confessed and said “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them….” Read the chapter indicated above to see the whole story. But the thing is, this is proof enough that the only way people can do things and achieve greatly is if they speak one language and see themselves as one people.
 
Just like they went out in hundreds to protest against the MPS bogus bonus saying “enough is enough”, we can do that again but this time with an aim of eradicating the tribal lines that have become so thick over the years. They started faint and almost unseen, but over the years they’ve become so thick you can almost stumble over them. We need to shun leaders who perpetuate tribalism and ethnicity. We need to boycott rallies and events held by tribalists. We should encourage gatherings that bring all tribes in Kenya together, as opposed to having tribal events…. Eg the Kikuyu Night; Kamba Night, Ramogi Night (I hear this was a state function), Turkana Night… etc. Why can’t we have a Kenya Cultural Night? In fact there is an ongoing conversation on Twitter about this. Check out #KenyaCulturalNight and join the conversation.
 
To quote President Jakaya Kikwete, the incumbent president of the republic of Tanzania… 
 
“People who sow seeds of discord by preaching tribalism, racism and religious misunderstanding should find another place to go…” 

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Liz, Awesome piece as always. you have made me feel very patriotic. The blending of the bouquet of roses and the kenyan story is to say the least marvellous!

The combination of stories was initially difficult to make out but later I did. One on the beauty of life and another on the misery of life or people.

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